Would it surprise you to learn that more than 40 percent of today’s workers consider themselves in the “contingent” category? That statistic, revealed in a study by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, includes gig employees of all kinds. It also showcases just how many opportunities people have to cleverly earn extra — or primary — income.
If you are one of the millions of Americans dreaming of a way to boost the amount of money you get each week or month and you have (or are thinking about getting) a box truck, the aforementioned data should be music to your ears. Why? Whether you live in Texarkana, TX, or Cincinnati, OH, your box truck can be the perfect mechanism to increase the flow of Benjamins to your bank account.
Of course, to benefit from the movement toward contingent working, you need to follow a few steps.
Review Your Budget
No business is free to start up, which is why you have to be sure you can pay for all the upfront costs associated with contingent work. Some of your considerations should include the cost to buy a new or pre-owned box truck (if applicable), cover fuel and other vehicle expenses, pay for startup costs like insurance, advertise your services, and potentially payroll employees or subcontractors (if needed.)
Be sure you understand how tight or loose your budget looks before spending even a dime. That way, you’ll always be on top of your finances and not at risk of losing money because of improper fiscal planning.
Determine What Kind of Contingent Work You Can Do
As the owner of a box truck, you have a plethora of options for making bucks — sometimes substantial ones — regularly. What are the biggest uses for a box truck?
Renting Use to Local Organizations – Not every organization has the means to buy a box truck, but still requires occasional use of one throughout the year. Seek out these types of businesses and offer the use of your box truck on a per-diam or per-job rental basis.
Carrying Cargo for Individuals and Companies – Again, your local businesses probably have use for a cargo-carrying truck sporadically. You can approach them with a price sheet and talk about the ways you can assist for a fee. A great example would be a small flower shop that has an SUV for typical deliveries but needs a bigger vehicle during big holidays like Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day.
Offering Handyman Services – Are you good with your hands? Love to be a DIYer? Take your talents to the people and businesses of the area. Not only can you store tons in your box truck, but you’ll always have everything on hand. Plus, you don’t have to worry about anything getting wet because the storage area on your box truck will be completely enclosed.
Helping Contractors Haul Items – Have a relationship with any contractors or subcontractors in your neck of the woods? Save them time and money by being available to help them remove items during renovations and other projects.
These are only a few of the things you can do with a box truck. Your objective is to get creative and start to think about all the ways that you can fill your days or nights with jobs.
Get a Reliable Box Truck
Obviously, the box truck that your uncle gave you years ago that barely rolls out of the garage won’t provide you with dependability. What you need is a box truck that’s going to deliver on its intrinsic promise.
For instance, you may want to consider investing in a Chevrolet Express Cutaway Van. The 3500 series typically offers a six-speed transmission, runs on regular gasoline, and may have a specialty drivetrain. Pre-owned pricing on Chevy Express box trucks will vary according to the year, condition, etc.. Buying a new Express? Expect to pay in the high $30,000s for the most basic options.
Talk to an Accountant, Insurance Agent, and Possibly a Lawyer
Before doing even 15 minutes of work for your company, prepare and protect yourself by talking with professionals. An accountant can help you set up the financial aspects of your contingent working so you pay estimated taxes and don’t get slammed on April 15. Pretty tech savvy? You may be able to skip the accountant if you find robust software online. Just be sure you understand how to keep a detailed record of income and expenses.
Next, discuss your working arrangements with an insurance agency. Yes, you can go online to get advice, but it might be best to find someone in your area so you can build a unique insurance package. Not only will you need coverage for your box truck, but you may also want to purchase general liability insurance or a special package built around your intended jobs.
Finally, a lawyer may be a huge asset if you’ll be going into business with a partner or you want to start a corporation. Handmade (or handshake) contracts open you to potential problems and legal battles in the future. Sure, it can seem hard to pay a lawyer’s fee, but it definitely provides peace of mind.
Begin to Market Your Services
At this point, you’re ready to start advertising that you’re available for contingent work. Depending upon the type of jobs you want to tackle, you should consider making face-to-face appointments, sending letters, putting out flyers, etc. What you need are a few jobs to begin, and then you can leverage them into other chances to work.
Have a little money you can spend wrapping your box truck? You can advertise your solutions to the world. That way, whenever you drive your vehicle around town, people will see it. Never underestimate the power of buzzworthy visual branding techniques!
Bring Home the Bacon With Gig Working
Does gigging seem like something you can get behind? What’s stopping you, then? Even if you have a full-time job, you can take your box truck and generate cash from a side hustle. Never has there been a time when it’s easier or better to jump into the contingent working scene.